Continued growth from Kesko‘s grocery retail business failed to offset falling profits from its DIY chain in the fourth quarter of 2010, the Finnish company reported today (3 February).

Shares in Kesko were down more than 6% today after its fourth-quarter results failed to meet expectations.

The retailer announced today (3 February) that net profit was down 16% to EUR63m during the quarter ended 31 December, which it blamed on a poor performance in its DIY banner.

During the fourth-quarter, net sales in Kesko’s food division increased 5.3% to EUR1.32bn, while operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, was up 3.5% to EUR33.7m.

Nevertheless, Kesko’s shares had dropped 6.4% today at 15:15 CET to EUR33.15.

For the full-year, however, Kesko’s group net profit increased 60.7% to reach EUR216m, while sales were up 3.9% to EUR8.7bn.

In its food business, sales climbed 2.6% to EUR3.8bn for the full year, while operating profit in the division was up 27% to EUR160.1m.

The company said it is forecasting net sales to grow during the next 12 months and added that during 2010 its profitability performance has been “excellent” except for the home improvement business.